The book was published to commemorate the completion in the City of London of the Leathersellers’ Company’s new Seventh Hall, designed by Eric Parry Architects. The text contains a description and interpretation of the building’s architecture as expression of the clients’ aspirations of honouring the ancient architectural tradition of the Livery Company hall, while presenting a dignified and forward-looking presence in the contemporary city. A significant addition to the architectural tapestry of the City of London, Parry’s building also makes a stimulating contribution to wider architectural and urbanist discourse. This is interpreted in terms of the architect’s attention to situating his designs meaningfully in a physical and cultural context, his collagist and metaphorical sensibility, and his concern with the high quality of making, from the macro scale of urban relationships to the micro scale of the interior detailing. In the case of an ancient craft company such as the Leathersellers, the high quality of craftsmanship throughout the Hall has not just a practical but also an ethical function. The new Hall shows a way towards an architecture of meaningful continuity.
The book also contains the author’s substantial essay on the work of the artist Victoria Crowe, who was commissioned to design a 43-metre long tapestry complementing the architecture of the Leathersellers’ Dining Hall. A discussion of the evolution and themes of Crowe’s artistic approach accompanies an interpretation of the tapestry as it is situated inside the Hall. The book is lavishly illustrated with architectural drawings and colour photography